Back last year, I joined a Kickstarter that was trying to publish a book then called “Democracy for Toddlers”, which aimed at explaining elections and the voting process to small children. It caught my attention and seemed to be A Good Thing, so I helped to fund it, it made its target, and I received my copies of the book in the week. Here they are, along with the postcards that accompanied them – a lovely, bright cover and a new title which sounds a bit less worthy and will probably be more attractive (although I did like the working title).
It’s aimed at young children, and has easy text for an adult to read and explain, or an older reader to read for themselves, and lovely, inclusive, bright and colourful illustrations. Both Mum and Dad and different people in the neighbourhood are active in politics, and although it doesn’t go into what policies are, etc., it does explain that “they have different ideas about how they would run things if they were in charge”, and the parents explain that, “We like the stripy party because we think their ideas are better,” which is what it’s all about, isn’t it!
The book covers elections, the fact that both parties want to be in charge, canvassing, putting up posters, the actual voting process (which includes electronic voting, which I don’t think exists in the UK yet but including it is a good way of assuring appeal in other countries / on an on-going basis), and the announcement of the results. It’s comprehensive but in no way worthy or boring, and it makes everything very personal to the children in the book / reading the book.
I’m going to pass my copies to some small relatives and the child of a friend. With elections coming up in the UK in May, this is a good buy for this year, but also of course would be applicable in other countries and for local and European elections, etc.
Here’s a spread from the book – the photo is a bit wonky because it’s standard children’s paperback size and that’s quite hard to hold and photograph! Very warm and detailed illustrations.
The book was officially launched on Monday 5 January and is available direct from Fisherton Press and also from Amazon and Ellie Levenson’s local independent bookshop, The Big Green Bookshop. If you buy it for a child in your life, I’d love to hear what they make of it, and so would the nice people at Fishterton Press.
You can also read an interview with Ellie, the founder of Fishterton Press, as part of her on-going involvement in my Small Business Chat series over on my business blog.